Such Sweet Sorrow
Chapter 10 : Violation - November
Phil Lane & Freddie Clegg © 2010
BDSM Sex Story: Chapter 10 : Violation - November - A new story from Phil Lane & Freddie Clegg. Jenny returns to Inward Bound, where she learned so much of her submissive drives in "Thesis" (also available here at Storiesonline) but what does all this mean for Joe, her husband? Should he try to learn more of her desires?
looking for clues
It's 11 days since Jenny's disappearance.
I'm standing outside our home, with officers from the Warwickshire Police Force. Detective Inspector Ackroyd is in charge and from his manner, he has seen this sort of thing plenty of times before. He has a young WPC with him and several other officers to help conduct the search.
"So is this the first time you have been back Mr McEwan?" Ackroyd's trying to be friendly, keen to get me to talk.
"Yes, first time."
"Quite a while since your wife went missing?"
"Well, yes. 11 days. I was in South Korea, it took a while before I realised what had happened and then it took me time to get back."
It's as though I can see the cogs turning in Ackroyd's mind. He's thinking it seems odd that I left the country on the very day that Jenny went missing. And Korea? "Ah well," he says, "as you know Constable Evans, my colleagues and I have been asked to conduct a search of the premises, I'm sorry — your home - to see if we can find anything which may assist us in locating Mrs McEwan."
'Locating Mrs McEwan.' If the circumstances were not so serious, I'd be laughing out loud at the stereotypical language. Still, police officers enjoy their own special jargon like many professions; even engineers have been known to do it.
Ackroyd is peering at the outside of the house, the window frames and the door. "So if we may now go inside... ?"
We go in. The house feels cold and empty.
Ackroyd looks down at the door mat and then across at the hall table. "Aha, the post: it's been tidied up".
"Yes," I reply. "In the statement I gave to your colleagues in London, I said that Cathy Corbin — she is Jenny's workmate - came to the house after Jenny failed to turn up at work, to see if she was OK. It must have been Cathy who tidied up."
Ackroyd scratches his ear. "Ah, yes, well we shall be speaking to Ms Corbin in due course. Do you know if she has left everything else as she found it?"
"Well, I suppose so. You will have to ask her. I don't think there was anything to find."
"How do you know that?"
"Well, I phoned Cathy from Seoul, to see if she had seen Jenny and she came round afterwards..."
"I see. Well if you can just wait here a moment. We'll just have a look around."
I nod. I'm not sure what there might be to find, but I have nothing to hide. I watch the WPC, the detective and the other officers as they begin to search our house. It seems almost comical, as they look in cupboards, behind doors, and out into the back garden.
Yes, I think, I must get around to building that deck so Jenny and I can sit out there on summer evenings. Immediately I feel a wave of grief coming towards me across a flat sea. There is no avoiding it. In a moment the wave has built, crashed against me and ebbed away, leaving me in tears.
"Are you all right?" asks the WPC.
"Yes, sure." I breathe in and out heavily. "I was going to build a deck out in the back garden and she'd have liked it but I had not got around to it and..." My throat tightens again and my eyes prick with tears. I cannot finish the sentence.
The WPC pats my back and rubs my shoulder. It's a comforting but it's also a bleak gesture.
"I wonder if we could have your help Mr Mc Ewan." Ackroyd is back. "We'd like to make a list of anything that is missing. Anything that your wife might have taken with her if she came back here perhaps?"
"Why would she have done that? She was in London when we spoke, I told..." I am conscious that my voice is rising in pitch.
Constable Evans can see I'm getting upset again. "I'm sorry if this is distressing Mr McEwan but we really do need to go through this. All right?"
I try to calm myself. "Yes," I agree. "Sure. It's OK."
The three of us go up stairs and go from room to room. I'm surprised to see that there are things missing. Why would Jenny have come back and taken these things? Where can she have gone? It's difficult remembering what was where. You take so much for granted. I'm conscious of Ackroyd watching me closely as we go around the rooms. I suppose the police might think that I have something to do with Jenny's disappearance. And me? I just want to be as helpful as possible. I'm trying to recognise what is missing: clothes, shoes, a waterproof jacket, socks, bras. All the necessary, familiar things of everyday life. You wouldn't normally pay attention to them but now they have a strange power to burn and tear at the soul. A toothbrush. A diary. The T shirt she often wore to go to the gym.
As the day wears on a voice nags inside my mind. There's a slowly growing realisation. The voice seems to say "She has left you Joe. You weren't enough for her anymore, were you? You did not try hard enough, did you? You couldn't be bothered, could you? Now look. Now look what you have done. Forced her away. Gone. She is not coming back, is she?"
"Mr McEwan? Could you come in her please?" Ackroyd's voice whines from the study. "Can you just check this other computer, the one that's not missing."
I boot up the PC and find — nothing. A completely blank screen. The cursor flashes in the top left but there are no programmes, no data, nothing.
"I ... I ... I'm not sure what's wrong. There should be piles of stuff here. There's all Jenny's research data for a start. She used to back up on to this computer from her laptop. Now there is nothing. And the address book and calendar. It's all gone!"
"This ever happened before, has it?"
"No, the computer is only a year old."
"No, er, well, I can't remember maybe it's a bit older than a year."
"Well, you won't mind if we take it with us and have a closer look will you?"
"No, of course not. Take what you like."
WPC Evans appears at the door. "Excuse me," she says, "I've made some tea. Would you like some?"
"Mr McEwan?" Ackroyd put his head on one side, looking at me. "I wouldn't mind a cup, and I am sure the team too would appreciate that. We brought the kit with us so we are not being presumptuous, but with your permission of course."
I nod. This is almost comical: the police arrive with all their search equipment and in particular, supplies of tea, milk and sugar...
We sit in the kitchen. The police are all silent at first, but then Ackroyd begins, "Now I realise that this is probably not easy, Mr McEwan, but you've had a good look at the house and contents. Is there anything which strikes you as odd?"
I don't really know how to answer. Jenny isn't here: that's what is odd. How could anything else be more odd than that?
"You might need a little while to think things through, so take your time. On the other hand it would be helpful to know sooner rather that later and the sooner the better.
Ackroyd begins to read a list from his notebook. He announces each item slowly, as if reading a litany, "Passport — well that's gone" he pauses, "Shoes," another pause, "Jacket," another pause, "Trousers, socks and tights."
"Socks and tights. Jenny did not often wear socks or tights. Unless it was very cold or unless we were going to some ultra formal do. Also all her bras are gone but she didn't often wear those either."
"I see ... Anything else at this stage?"
"Well, there's her journal."
"It's still here. She got one for Christmas last year and had been filling it in every day. Other things have gone; her address book is gone and so is her filofax but the journal is still on the shelf."
"Ah." Ackroyd purses his lips, uncertain of whether any of this is likely to be significant. "Well that's the sort of detail which can often turn out quite helpful; not least because there will be her finger and palm prints to be found there and samples of her handwriting. Now I should also point out that there are quite a few things we will need for forensic examination and to help us further.
"Your computer, I have mentioned, but I also need your phone bills for as long as you have them. I expect you get an itemised bill? — we are looking for unusual numbers. Actually the protocol says I have got to 'seize' them which makes it sound as if we are fighting over them." Ackroyd gives a small smile. He seems to have a sense of humour — somewhere.
"So I will need to take the computer. You had better give me the passwords and the passwords to your email accounts. Just write them here. That's right, and the, er, journal for copying? I can let you have it back shortly, if that will be acceptable, Mr McEwan, though the computer may take longer."
I'm starting to feel violated. Perhaps like a woman who has been raped — no that's an exaggeration of course — but I do feel the intrusion. The investigation is becoming as painful and humiliating as the original events.
Ackroyd has not finished. "We also need some of your dirty washing and especially your wife's. Toothbrushes. Hair brushes. I'm sorry it's so intimate."
"It's to collect DNA samples from clothes, places like collars and cuffs are good for this and of course hair and fibres. Especially from your bedroom. In case we need to make an identification ... I'm sorry to be so blunt but we are looking specifically for blood, semen, vaginal fluids, skin and hair samples. I wouldn't normally say, but you did ask."
"But Jenny is alive..."
"Yes Mr McEwan. I hope she is and these samples will help us to eliminate other remains we might find during our enquiries. Further to this, if you can give me the address of your wife's dentist so we can copy her dental records. Once again, I am sorry about the technicalities and I do hope we locate Mrs McEwan soon."
Locate? Locate means telling me Jenny has been found. They are not promising to re-unite us. They are keeping things open, in case she does not want me anymore...
"We will send you a copy of the list and if there is anything else, you will let us know? Here's my card. Is there anyone you can stay with up here, in case we have to conduct a second sweep of the premises? I think I'd prefer if you could leave your house vacant for a day or two longer"
I nod in resignation. As the police officers leave, the house seems unbearably empty. I don't want to stay anymore. They didn't seem to be really puzzled by any of what they found. They became more sympathetic as the search went on. They think she's left me. They started off by thinking that I had something to do with her disappearance but now they just think she's gone of her own accord.
I spend the next two nights at a hotel. It's not a happy experience. Even with the central heating turned on, the room stays cold — or perhaps it's me.
Eventually the police tell me I can return home. I go to a supermarket to buy food. I keep picking things "Jenny would like" — only there is no Jenny anymore and as the realisation taps me on the shoulder, I put each item back on the shelf.
By the time I get to the checkout, I've bought little more than ready meals, a few bottles of beer and dreary routine staples such as bread, milk, and butter.
WE ARE DETECTIVE
The following morning, my mobile rings.
"Mr McEwan? Detective Inspector Ackroyd here. Have you a moment?"
"Yes, of course. I am on leave from work at the moment but ... yes ... how can I help?"
"I will just come round to the house if I may?"
"Yes, please just do that."
As he rings off I realise that we didn't not fix a time but, moments later, the door bell rings. Ackroyd must have been just outside in his car
When I open the door, I can see Ackroyd reading in my face the unhappiness and depression that I'm feeling. I expect it's reinforcing his theory that the Police are dealing with a simple domestic run-away, but he presses on with his errand anyway.
"Ah, Mr McEwan. I hope I haven't disturbed you too early?"
"No, of course, come in."
"Well, I have been reading through Mrs McEwan's journal"
My heart begins to sink at once. What has she said? About me? About the two of us?
" ... and I just wondered if you knew anything about MLCO?"
"MLCO. It was written in your wife's journal. It said ML Co 2/30 and then the date of her disappearance. I just wondered if you knew what ML Co was."
"Erm, erm well er ML Co? Er, Jenny was going to a library after she left me."
"It was a medical library. She was doing research..."
"Yes I know"
"It was ... at ... at the Royal Society of Medicine..." my voice trails off
"So could that be Medical Library and then a note of the section?"
"Well, yes I suppose it could."